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Archived stories from 2014

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Barbour event disrupts London market

A style gaffe by reinsurance broker Steve Grabber disrupted the Lloyd's market temporarily last week. The brief business interruption, which could have cost the market millions had it persisted into the following week, was caused by the sight of the avuncular broker wearing a green waxed Barbour jacket over his pin striped suit.

Grabber: What was I thinking?

Waxed Barbour style jackets have not been a feature of the EC3 insurance district in over a quarter of century, having been replaced by more staid macintoshes. As a result, workers around Lime St stopped to stare disbelievingly at Grabber as he walked to the market from Mega Re's office on Friday wearing the d?class? item.

"It was extraordinary. I thought I had slipped into a time hole or whatever they are called," said 56 year old actuary Ian Numbnuts. "For a moment I was transported back to the late Eighties when everyone wore a Barbour over their suits if it was cold."

Twenty four year old insurance intern Chardonnay Tottingberd said the sight of Grabber wearing the Barbour jacket stopped her in her tracks, as she was rushing back to her office with the boss's dry cleaning and five coffees from Starbucks in a cardboard tray. "It was an horrible snot coloured thing with a sort of yucky texture, pockets everywhere and a corduroy collar turned up," Tottingberd remembered. "And he's squeezed it over his big old suit and tie. It was horrible. I've never seen nothing like it. Wassit called again - a Barbler?"

"I'm not sure why I put it on that morning," Grabber told a hastily convened press call. "It was drizzling as I left the house for my train and the old Barbour was there on a peg. I just thought, why not, it's Friday. I feel like looking a bit individual."

Grabber conceded that his line manager had taken a dim view of the Barbour, however, and had given the veteran broker an official warning. "He told me, ?that sort of attire is not appropriate for a 350 year old insurance market, so save it for its intended purpose: going to Waitrose on Saturdays with your missus," Grabber told RISKbitz.


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